Philosophy & Goals
Camp Susquehanna is dedicated to providing children with burns the opportunities to face social and physical challenges, develop self- esteem, and promote a positive attitude while encouraging healthy independence. Camp is a safe place for healing, a place for children to share feelings about difficult experiences, perhaps for the first time. Life skills workshops combined with many fun activities ensure that the child with burn injuries enjoys special experiences. Camp Susquehanna strives to have every child meet the goals of building self-esteem, learning responsibility, and developing coping strategies to use outside the camp arena. One way we do this is by providing challenge activities that give children the sense of ‘conquering’ and accomplishment.
Camp Susquehanna came into being after a lecture in 1994 to the Lancaster SERTOMA club by Alan Breslau, founder of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. The club presented him with a Service to Mankind Award and asked him what they could do to help burn survivors. Alan immediately suggested that they establish a camp for burned children. It was decided there and then by the Sertomans that they would do so in memory of M Elvin Byler their founder. Camp Susquehanna was born! The first camp was held on the beautiful campus of Franklin and Marshall College with eight children that very same summer. It was a very ‘full on’ program packed tightly with fun activities and outings, directed by Richard Friedman, Lee Walp, Cindy Thomas and Alan & Delwyn Breslau with enthusiastic support from the Sertoma members and the Fire Service. Children have since been flown in from many different states where there are no established camps for them to attend. Alan and Delwyn remained closely involved with the annual summer camp until their emigration to New Zealand in 2003.
There are numerous activities to participate in including:
What is Camp Susquehanna?
Camp is a 5 day, sleep-away experience for children ages 7-17 who have had a burn injury. It is an opportunity for children to have fun, learn life skills, and meet other burn survivors. Although Camp Susquehanna’s campers are of varying ages, activities and groups are geared towards each camper’s developmental needs.
Where is C.S.?
Camp Susquehanna is being held for the first time in 2018 at beautiful Camp Westmont in Poyntelle, PA! Surrounded by beautiful woods and containing many outdoor adventures, campers and counselors also enjoy the amenities of air conditioned facilities.
When is Camp?
2018 camp dates are:
- June 13-17 for campers.
- June 12-17 for counselors.
- June 11-17 for leaders in training.
Who are the counselors/Staff?
Our staff consists of adult burn survivors, health care professionals, burn center staff and fire service professionals. All of our staff undergoes criminal background checks, screening interviews, and training.
How much does it cost?
NOTHING! Camp is free to campers, sponsored by the M. Elvin Byler Memorial Sertoma Club, Burn Prevention Network, and other generous donors. Campers are also offered free roundtrip bus transportation from several different sites/burn centers across Pennsylvania; including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Lehigh Valley. Children may also be brought to camp via private vehicle.
What about my child’s special needs?
Camp Susquehanna has qualified burn nurses on staff who dispense medications, change dressings, assist with pressure garments, and perform medical duties as needed. For the first time this year we will also have the benefit of Telemedicine Services through Lehigh Valley Health Network! Our programming is geared to include all levels of ability and function. Other professionals are present, including mental health, physical, occupational, and/or recreational therapists, etc.